Better mycotoxin awareness improves prevention
The World Mycotoxin Forum and the IUPAC symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins ended Thursday with a look into the future. A future that needs to be further unravelled.
The aim of WMFmeetsIUPAC is to increase awareness of human and animal health risks due to natural toxicant contamination in agricultural commodities and seafood.
It also aims to highlight the potential risk management options, technologies and strategies for minimization of contamination.
One of the conclusions was that more toxins are being discovered and that detection methods have further improved to better and more accurately test for mycotoxins.
However, in regulations regarding maximum allowable levels in for example the Codex Alimentarius there can be a conflict between food safety and food security. If levels are set too low in some countries too much of an ingredient needs to be rejected.
The event was a great success in that 450 people attended, listened to more than 100 presentations, and could view over 200 posters and had ample time for networking.
The event definitely increased awareness. Many delegates had an analytical background and interacted with their peers for information exchange.
A very critical jury, namely all the delegates, could vote for the best poster presentation. The poster: “Neurotoxicity of T2 and HT2 toxin? New experiments hints for an influence on the blood brain barrier in vitro” by Maria Weidner (photo) of the Institute of Food Chemistry of the Westfalishce Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany, was chosen.
It also became clear that a lot of work still needs to be done and that mycotoxins can appear in many shapes and disguises that we are sometimes not aware of. This phenomenon was discussed in one of the parallel sessions on emerging toxins and new occurrence data.
Other items discussed were human and animal health implications, prevention and reduction, and analytical solutions.
Companies present at the mini exhibition were also given some time in separate workshops to present their activities to interested visitors.
At the end of the conference, it was revealed that the two organizations will stick together and that the next WMFmeetsIUPAC event will be held in Singapore in 2014.
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